Nuggets and Aphorisms

Food for thought. These first appeared in Amit Varma's blog, India Uncut

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Madame, your chicken is ready!

In a way, the most morally troubling thing about killing chickens is that after a while it is no longer morally troubling.
Michael Pollan, in "The Omnivore's Dilemma." The quote reminds me of the anecdote about how Leo Tolstoy's aunt once visited him for dinner and found a live chicken on her chair, and a carving knife besides it. "We knew you wanted chicken," Tolstoy said, "but none of us would kill it." (I wonder what Tolstoy would have done had the lady wanted beef, but you get the point.)

That anecdote formed the basis of an essay I wrote around three years ago called "Two chickens." (The one that we eat and the one on the chair, as Tolstoy's aunt found it.) I had just turned vegetarian, and wrote the essay to explain my reasons for it; I resumed eating meat a year later. Well, I just opened the Word doc with that unpublished essay a few moments ago, and it seems so naive to me, both in terms of style and content. Who the fug was I fooling, I wonder, but myself? And who, indeed, am I fooling now?

Anyway, on that note, an email from Kind Friend just rolled in, with a link to Julia Keay's review of "The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times" by Tristram Stuart. I shall write more on the subject when I'm in the mood to berate myself, instead of merely bemoaning my existence, a pleasurable activity I find myself performing frequently these days. As Marquis de Sade famously said, "Why pity others, motherfugger, when you can pity yourself?"
amit varma, 12:36 PM| write to me | email this to a friend | permalink | homepage |

Monday, July 24, 2006

Shit happens

The Catholics say, “Shit happens.” The Protestants say, “The other guy is responsible for the shit.” The Muslims say “The shit is the Will of Allah.” The Jews go, “Why, oh why, is all the shit falling only on us?" The Buddhists reply, “But there is no shit.” And the Japanese Zen masters whisper, “Listen closely and you will hear the sound of shit falling."
A character in Shaere Zobale-Ha (Scream of the Ants), a new film by Mohsen Makhmalbaf. I got the quote from Jai Arjun Singh's post on the film; he thinks it's shit.
amit varma, 1:07 AM| write to me | email this to a friend | permalink | homepage |

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Here I sit, broken-hearted

Here I sit
Came to shit
But only farted
Inscription in a women's restroom, quoted in The Writings on the Stall.

(Link to the main site via Zigzackly.)
amit varma, 1:38 PM| write to me | email this to a friend | permalink | homepage |